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Forage For Profit Focus Farms

increase milk yield from forage

Autumn Block Calving Dairy Herd Looks to Increase Milk Yield From Forage

Part of our series of articles which profile some of our farmer members who are taking part in the Forage for Profit focus farms. This month’s introduction looks at Splattenridden Farm, Hayle, Cornwall with Paul Richards and his Farm Manager, Ben Jacobs.

At Splattenridden Farm, Paul and Ben are running an autumn, block  calving dairy herd on 170 hectares. They are currently milking 330 cows giving an average yield of 6,100 litres with 2,800 litres produced from forage, using 1.3 tonnes concentrate. The team also run an arable business as well as a green waste enterprise alongside their dairy herd.

They want to work towards increasing their milk yields from forage, therefore, improving margin per litre. Whilst this is their key aim, they also want to ensure that the farm management remains relatively uncomplicated. Simplicity is the key.

With the main focus being on grazing, they keep a close eye on the grass yields, using techniques such as plate metering and grazing management software, which helps them utilise the 98 hectare grazing platform to the full.

The overall target is to increase the milk yield to 7,000 litres per cow, with 3,500 of those coming from forage and 1.5 tonnes concentrate. However, the aim in the short term (12 to 18 months) is 6,500 litres per cow with 3,100 coming from forage and 1.3 tonnes concentrate.

To help achieve these goals, Dr. Robin Hawkey from MV Feed Solutions, David Worledge of MVF and Daniel Loe from MV Forage Services are putting together plans focused on optimising feed rationing, weed control, reseeding and over seeding, plus methods to improve nutrient efficiency from slurry and compost produced by their green waste company.

• Maximise milk from forage
• Improve pasture quality
• Optimise feed rationing
• Optimise nutrient effi ciency from slurry and compost
• Keep the system uncomplicated

Call Dan Loe on 07816 324163 for more information
Image- Paul Richards Farmer with Ben Jacobs Farm Manager.

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